A lot of people have called 2016 a horrible year, because of all the high-profile musicians who passed away, as well as another significant event that could have repercussions for years to come. The latter could probably downgrade the year all by itself, but my family created some great memories in 2016, so I'm going to give it a mixed review.
This year's top five includes three artists brand new to my list and two old favorites.
5. The Besnard Lakes - A Coliseum Complex Museum
Considering the consensus is this is only their fourth best album (out of five), I'd say I've got some back-catalog exploring to do with this band.
4. The Jayhawks - Paging Mr. Proust
The "Comeback Kids" return for their fourth appearance in my top ten and first in 13 years, breaking Ryan Adams' record of 10 years between top ten finishes.
3. Pinegrove - Cardinal
These guys are the best thing to come out of Montclair, New Jersey since Stephen Colbert.
2. Lydia Loveless - Real
This year's female musician count is eight solo artists, one duo, one trio, one male-female duo, and two male-female co-fronted bands. None even came remotely close to this one, which was an album-of-the-year contender until last week.
1. Cloud Cult - The Seeker
Cloud Cult's fourth top ten album is also their second to claim the top spot, tying them with the legendary Pernice Brothers as the only band to every accomplish that feat.
Happy New Year and the best of luck in 2017!